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Survival and Preparations Long and short term survival and 'prepping'.

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  #1  
Old 12-12-2020, 5:54 PM
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Default When to toss MREs?

I have several cases of MREs up to 12 years old. when do you toss them? they have been stored in a cool environment, 74 - 76 degrees. Not sure how to inspect them.


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Old 12-12-2020, 6:18 PM
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Open one. If it smells toss it.
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Old 12-12-2020, 7:09 PM
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I have eaten much older MREs in the Army. If you open the package and it stinks, toss it.

You knowing the storage temps is a great thing to maintain your confidence. I would suggest you open one of them up now to test it.
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Old 12-12-2020, 7:33 PM
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you wouldn't just toss them anyway. the heaters, accessory packs and spoons will still be good, and probably the beverage powders as well.

lol, were they still putting crackers in 12 years ago?
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Old 12-12-2020, 7:51 PM
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https://www.mreinfo.com/mres/mre-shelf-life/
Quote:
Practical Life of MREs

Practically, the darn things last a long, long, time. As long as the individual MRE components aren’t damaged, punctured, (or swelling!), they should still be edible. Some people (on usenet) say that an MRE may lose its flavor or turn an unappetizing color but will still retain all the nutritional value. But other people will say the nutritional value decays over time. Take your pick of opinions. If you want to really be safe, don’t base your nutritional health on 10-year old MREs. But for occasional eating or camping, you’re probably ok.

But how do they really taste? I’ve eaten everything from one month old MREs to 11 year old MREs. While I haven’t been brave enough to try the 10 year old Omlette with Ham, I have tried the 11 year old corned beef hash and the 11 year old ham slice/potatoes au gratin. They were both perfectly yummy (if you like those kinds of foods). The ham slice was nice and tender – more like Hormel’s Tender Chunk Ham. The corned beef hash was like any can of corned beef hash I’ve ever eaten. All the other MRE entrees I’ve tried – from 1994, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002 have all been good – no sort of off-flavors or bad tastes.
No mention of 2010 or later, but no reason I know of to believe later/recent production would have a different shelf life.

If you will need to rely on MREs for weeks, ought to supplement with fiber - https://www.walmart.com/browse/healt...586366_5240691 or siimilar.

A single MRE might have 5 g of fiber (might be just 3); that's a feature for hard-exercising soldiers. But,
Quote:

You probably know that fiber is important to good health, but do you know if you are getting enough?

Most Americans aren't. The average adult only eats 15 grams of fiber per day.

Women need 25 grams of fiber per day, and men need 38 grams per day, according to the Institute of Medicine.
so you might want to supplement 20-30 g per day.

Last edited by Librarian; 12-12-2020 at 8:17 PM..
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Old 12-12-2020, 8:20 PM
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I tried a couple of the MRE meals I had squirreled away for Y2K in 2010, and while they may retain most of their nutritional value, after 10 years, they tasted so nasty that you wouldn't want to eat one. Had to toss cases of them, and which is why I went to dried and freeze dried alternatives.

Exception may be the very high salt meals like the corner beef hash, which will age better.
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Old 12-12-2020, 9:16 PM
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Great info. So, basically like canned foods.


This is for SHTF. We also store whole grain rice and dried oatmeal and about 50 gallons of purified water.


We ate one from Y2K this evening and it tasted pretty good. Some sort of meat patty.

My thinking, if we couldn’t eat it, we should toss them.
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Old 12-12-2020, 10:04 PM
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i've eaten 20 year old MREs and they're "good" in that you won't starve, but it's up to your particular taste buds whether you would eat it in a SHTF situation.

I had 10 cases of 2005 MREs and broke them up and threw away: osmotic raisins, fig bars, all entrees except beef stew and chicken noodles.

2012 MREs at a decent temperature...keep for at least a few more years.
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Old 12-12-2020, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by five.five-six View Post
I have several cases of MREs up to 12 years old. when do you toss them? they have been stored in a cool environment, 74 - 76 degrees. Not sure how to inspect them.


TIA
I have some that are the same age (dated 2008, I acquired them in 2010). I ate one months ago (in the early part of this year) and it was fine. I wouldn't count on a lot of nutritional value out of it, but it tasted fine and didn't make me sick.
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Old 12-12-2020, 10:42 PM
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Depends on the MRE. The Vomelet and Five Fingers of Death, immediately.
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Old 12-12-2020, 11:49 PM
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Old 12-13-2020, 1:07 AM
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Old 12-13-2020, 4:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by five.five-six View Post
I have several cases of MREs up to 12 years old. when do you toss them? they have been stored in a cool environment, 74 - 76 degrees. Not sure how to inspect them.



Trade 'em to starving neighbors during the Boogaloo... for ammo!
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Old 12-13-2020, 4:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CWL View Post
I tried a couple of the MRE meals I had squirreled away for Y2K in 2010, and while they may retain most of their nutritional value, after 10 years, they tasted so nasty that you wouldn't want to eat one. Had to toss cases of them, and which is why I went to dried and freeze dried alternatives.

Exception may be the very high salt meals like the corner beef hash, which will age better.

If you think a 10 year old MRE tastes nasty, what until you try and eat your freeze dried alternatives with no water to make them edible.
Same applies to rice and beans.

In a true SHTF scenario, potable water and electricity will be the first things to stop running. (unless of course you live in a region with a natural water resource i.e. well, river, spring etc.)
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Old 12-13-2020, 7:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by five.five-six View Post
Great info. So, basically like canned foods.


This is for SHTF. We also store whole grain rice and dried oatmeal and about 50 gallons of purified water...
I thought that brown/whole grain goes bad w/in a year due to the oils in the bran...

No problems with brown rice after 20 years?
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Old 12-13-2020, 8:57 AM
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I did an internet search for "MRE shelf life chart" and got a range of charts with differing opinions. They all seem to agree that storage at 60 degrees or below offer the longest shelf life. 70 degrees ranged from 3.5 to 6 years depending on which chart you're looking at. At 120 degrees, about a month is what you could expect so storing in a car is not likely to produce agreeable results. An unheated basement would be the ideal storage environment.

I also learned that MRE's are intended for short term use (< 28 days) and are very high calorie intended to nourish persons engaged in heavy physical activity (combat). They also have very low fiber content so if you do eat them, they may be more digestible if you can supplement with fiber. Due to calorie content, you may want to split a meal with a partner if your physical activity is more on the sedentary side.

I've never eaten an MRE but the idea sounds intriguing. Rather than storing MRE's, my household strategy is to just store a generous supply of the canned goods we normally eat and keep an organized rotation system in place. On the other hand, having a few MRE's gives one the option of having food that can be taken with you in an emergency evacuation and prepared where there is no access to kitchen facilities. I'm afraid they would just end up going to waste though. I already live at my "bug-out" location.
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Old 12-13-2020, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the86d View Post
I thought that brown/whole grain goes bad w/in a year due to the oils in the bran...

No problems with brown rice after 20 years?
Both are part of our regular diet, we cycle through it.
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Old 12-13-2020, 10:05 AM
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I’ve got some from the late 80’s and early 90’s. My kids opened some a few years ago and there were components still good. Crackers and Maple Nut cake have no expiration btw
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Old 12-13-2020, 11:51 AM
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Wife and I shared a Y2K entree last night and neither is ill today.


Passed inspection.
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Old 12-13-2020, 1:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VictorFranko View Post
If you think a 10 year old MRE tastes nasty, what until you try and eat your freeze dried alternatives with no water to make them edible.
Same applies to rice and beans.

In a true SHTF scenario, potable water and electricity will be the first things to stop running. (unless of course you live in a region with a natural water resource i.e. well, river, spring etc.)
If I keep dried & freeze dried emergency foods what makes you think I haven't planned for water?
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Old 12-13-2020, 3:51 PM
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I had a pouch of tuna from one of my 2008 MRE a few months ago. Tasted and smelled fine, it was packed in Starkist retail packaging...some of the mains taste a bit metallic...but not what I call “bad”.
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Old 12-13-2020, 4:04 PM
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I thought Mountain House MRE's had a 30 year shelf life? At least that's what they say & also what's printed on the packages... I was thinking I was covered until I'm 103!
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Old 12-13-2020, 4:06 PM
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Ship them to Steve

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2I...idnnbWgJFiMeHA

Real talk: try one. If stored correctly, they will last a long while.
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Old 12-13-2020, 4:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAKA90034 View Post
I had a pouch of tuna from one of my 2008 MRE a few months ago. Tasted and smelled fine, it was packed in Starkist retail packaging...some of the mains taste a bit metallic...but not what I call “bad”.
That fish was harvested pre-Fukushima. Probably a lot safer to eat than any tuna you might buy today.
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Old 12-13-2020, 4:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ubermcoupe View Post
Ship them to Steve

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2I...idnnbWgJFiMeHA

Real talk: try one. If stored correctly, they will last a long while.
That guy is bat Schiff crazy
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Old 12-13-2020, 5:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 32blownhemi View Post
I thought Mountain House MRE's had a 30 year shelf life? At least that's what they say & also what's printed on the packages... I was thinking I was covered until I'm 103!
An MRE is Meal Ready to Eat. They can be eaten directly out of the pouch without heating, depending on the situation.

Mountain House is NOT a MRE. It is not ready until you add water and wait for the food to rehydrate.
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Old 12-14-2020, 8:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CWL View Post
I tried a couple of the MRE meals I had squirreled away for Y2K in 2010, and while they may retain most of their nutritional value, after 10 years, they tasted so nasty that you wouldn't want to eat one. Had to toss cases of them, and which is why I went to dried and freeze dried alternatives.

Exception may be the very high salt meals like the corner beef hash, which will age better.
They were probably that nasty the day they were packaged...not a fan of the MRE
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Old 12-14-2020, 8:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ubermcoupe View Post
Ship them to Steve

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2I...idnnbWgJFiMeHA

Real talk: try one. If stored correctly, they will last a long while.
My kids and I watched his videos for about an hour. We decided that next week we are going to share one from Y2K on youtube. That MRE predated both of them by 4 and 9 years respectively.


Nice!
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Old 12-15-2020, 8:47 PM
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I've been introducing my grandkids to MRE's. They're having a blast reading and opening and preparing them while 'camping' in the backyard.

"Food for Marines!".

And they get to open the packages with actual knives (with supervision).

We've been opening and eating MRE's while 'camping' in the backyard with inspection dates from 2008-2009 with no issues other than evaporated Tobasco sauce. They would not like that anyway, so no biggie.

They'll live.

Got some French and Italian meals ready to serve.

Also some Russian MRE's, but not sure how they're going adjust to those with the fish paste and other crap. We'll see.
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Old 01-12-2021, 11:12 PM
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I liked the old c-rats. My dad used to swipe them from somewhere and bring them on hikes or camping. They were over 10 years old when we ate them. The steel cans seemed to make them very durable.
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Old 01-13-2021, 6:39 AM
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That depends on the MRE!
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Old 01-14-2021, 2:05 AM
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I've got a few boxes in the garage that are way past their inspection date. I figure if I'm hungry enough, I'm sure I'll eat it.
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Old 01-14-2021, 8:29 AM
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I found a very early MRE brown bag in my garage that had fallen behind the work bench. It was probably 20 years old at that time and had gone through a temp cycle of the low 40s to 110 over and over. The main course smelled ok. I didn't eat it though.
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